PDF/VT to Bridge Gaps, Unify Production Workflows for Variable Data, Transactional and Transpromo Print Jobs
RESTON, VA— June 4, 2008—A committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is currently drafting an international standard that will define a variable data printing (VDP) job exchange format. ISO 16612-2 (PDF/VT) will specify how to use the Portable Document Format (PDF) to define and exchange all content elements and supporting metadata to produce predictable output for variable or transactional document content.
PDF/VT (“V” for “Variable” and “T” for “Transactional”) is designed to enable VDP in a variety of environments, from desktop printing to digital production presses, and to accommodate linkages for content, such as TransPromo applications, which combine color promotional content with transactional information. PDF/VT is a modern PDF format that builds on new ISO standards for print job exchange [PDF/X-4 (ISO 15930-7) and PDF/X-5 (ISO 15930-8)]. In addition, it will also support the full graphics model of PDF 1.6, which includes transparency, ICC-based color management and layers. In a production environment, PDF/VT is designed for use with JDF, or a similar job ticket format, to define a print product and corresponding process.
Historically, variable data content formats (proprietary or standard) have been specialized and were different from those commonly used in the graphic arts. PDF/VT is intended to bridge these differences and enable those involved in variable data printing to take advantage of tools, conventions and technologies already in use. As a versatile device- and workflow-independent content format, production strategies requiring late-stage printer re-targeting can be achieved with greater flexibility and reliability.
Based on PDF, a widely utilized and accepted final form exchange format, PDF/VT will simplify and streamline production workflows for VDP, Transactional and TransPromo print jobs and facilitate greater collaboration between marketers, designers, prepress and printers. PDF/VT files will be easily previewed, proofed, annotated, and approved across distributed workgroups using readily available desktop software. Since PDF/VT will serve as a digital master file format, the same file used to review a VDP job can be used to render it for digital presses. This support for more complex color graphics and color transparency provides content designers and marketers new opportunities to create printed customer communications with greater appeal.